Fighting back the tears in his eyes, Gopinathan Pillai, father of Pranesh Kumar, alias Javed Sheikh, who was killed along with Ishrat Jahan and two others in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat, said on Wednesday that he was happy that the charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case had described the incident as a fake encounter.
Mr. Pillai, living along with his elder son, said he had all along been saying that this was a fake encounter. He has been fighting the case for the last nine years. The incident took place on June 15, 2004.
He was talking to reporters at Kottakkattussery in Thamarakulam, near here, soon after the CBI submitted the charge sheet in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate H.S. Khutwad in Ahmedabad.
‘‘In this case, only the small fries have been caught so far. Large sharks are not yet in the net. The final verdict is not yet out. I am hopeful that I will get justice in the end,’’ Mr. Pillai said.
Asked whether he suspects the involvement of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the encounter, he said that what he thought at first was that the police officers did the fake encounter to get some additional stars or promotions, but now it appears that the involvement of politicians was there.
Answering a query, he said that he had got a threatening letter, which he handed over to the nearby police station. Asked whether he would continue to pursue the case, he shot back, ‘‘How can I leave the case even if I am 74 years old and have had two bypass surgeries.’’
He thought that the CBI investigation was moving in the right direction. His son’s wife and three children are very dear to Mr. Pillai, even though his son had converted to Islam in 1991. He keeps in touch with his daughter-in-law and grandchildren.